In a divorce, sometimes one spouse is left at a financial disadvantage. When this occurs, spousal support, more commonly known as alimony, is intended to provide that support to a former spouse. But there are many factors that go into the awarding of alimony, and it’s important to have an experienced spousal support lawyer by your side to help you with the process. The spousal support lawyers at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC have helped clients throughout the Nashville area pursue fair resolutions for alimony. Our firm represents spouses seeking or facing alimony payments throughout Middle Tennessee. We can listen to the details of your situation and discuss your options.
The Types of Alimony In Tennessee
Under Tennessee law, alimony is divided into four types:
Periodic Alimony – Also known as permanent alimony, this is commonly awarded in marriages where there is only one spouse who is the breadwinner and the other requires financial support to maintain an accustomed lifestyle.
Rehabilitative Alimony – This is designed to support a financially dependent former spouse who has decided to enroll in a training or education program to increase his/her earning potential.
Transitional Alimony – This is awarded to a spouse who may have the skills to be employable yet the divorce had impacted him/her financially. The finances help bridge the gap until the spouse can recover.
Lump Sum Alimony – The spouse will receive a single payment to equalize any property division.
In determining the type, amount, and length of an alimony award, a court may consider a variety of factors. Alimony must be agreed to, or awarded, at the time of a divorce and may not be sought after the fact.
How Spousal Support is Determined
Under Tennessee law, a court considers many factors when determining the amount of spousal support as well as whether payment will be permanent or temporary:
The length of the marriage
Any prenuptial or postnuptial agreements
Each spouse’s separate or marital property
The custody arrangement between the parents, and whether the spouse seeking support has primary custody of any children
The standard of living the couple sustained while married
Each spouse’s financial resources, including earning capacity, retirement, or profit-sharing benefits
Each spouse’s contributions during the marriage
The age and health of each spouse
Each spouse’s occupation as well as job skills and employability for the spouse seeking alimony
The court may also consider the education and training of both spouses, their conduct during the marriage, and any other factors that it deems just or equitable in making its determination.
Terminating Spousal Support
In order to terminate alimony payments in Tennessee, there must be a substantial and material change in circumstances since the original support was awarded. A material change refers to a change that occurred after the original divorce decree was issued and that was not anticipated or considered by either party at the time of the agreement. Substantial changes are those that significantly affect one party’s ability to pay or the other’s need for support. If this is the case, it’s best to speak with an experienced spousal support attorney to help you.
How Our Nashville Spousal Support Lawyers Can Help
When dealing with alimony matter, things can easily turn ugly, especially if you don’t have the right family law attorney by your side to guide you through the process. For decades, our Tennessee spousal support lawyers have helped clients find a common ground where all parties are financially secure following a divorce or legal separation. We help our clients examine the financial circumstances involved and advocate for an appropriate solution.
Whether you are seeking spousal support during a divorce or trying to ensure fair payments, the divorce attorneys at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard PLLC are ready to fight for your rights. Contact us today for more information.